Welcome to the enchanting land of Killarney, Ireland! Nestled in County Kerry, this picturesque destination is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its breathtaking landscapes, stunning national parks, and friendly locals, Killarney promises a 7-day trip full of adventure. So, grab your hiking boots and buckle up as we embark on the ultimate journey through this Irish gem!
Day 1: A Warm Welcome to Killarney
As you arrive in Killarney, you’ll instantly fall in love with the town’s charm. First stop we recommend (after you check into your accommodation) is JM Reidy’s on Main Street. Head to the town center for a hearty Irish meal and creamy pint! Pro tip: Try the traditional Irish stew for a taste of genuine local cuisine. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll through the town’s quaint streets and enjoy the lively atmosphere, complete with live music and warm Irish hospitality. For live music it depends on the time of year and day during the week but we recommend The Grand (Paddy Sheehans). Depending on what time you arrive a lot of visitors like to rent a bike and cycle through Knockreer or out to Muckross House and Gardens.
Day 2: Conquer the Beautiful Torc Mountain (1,755 above sea level)
Rise and shine, adventurers! Today, we recommend setting out to conquer Torc Mountain. With its well-marked trail and moderate difficulty, this hike is perfect for beginners and intermediate hikers. Start from Torc Waterfall, it’s less than 5 minutes walk to the actual waterfall and then follow the steps up to the second car park, turn right and follow the path through the lush landscape until you come to an opening. You’ll see the Old Kenmare Road (also worth doing) and on the right you will see a sign for Torc Mountain. Once you reach the summit, the panoramic views of the Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney will make every step worthwhile. Don’t forget your camera to capture these stunning vistas! For the full experience start at Torc Waterfall car park, ascend the steps and turn right when you reach the car park, an alternative route is to drive up to the second car park. Runners are adequate but we recommend hiking boots for any of the local mountains.
For those of you that want a harder challenge there is also Mangerton and Carrauntoohil (Ireland’s highest mountain).
Day 3: Embrace the Magic of the Gap of Dunloe
Today, venture on a spectacular journey through the famous Gap of Dunloe. We recommend renting a bike at Killarney Rent-A-Bike, cycle to Ross Castle and book your tour with ‘Dux’ The Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours. Once you cross the lake you’ll be dropped off at Lord Brandon’s cottage, from there just follow the signs up the mountain and down through the Gap of Dunloe. Some people opt for hopping on a traditional jaunting car – a horse-drawn carriage, either way be prepare to be enchanted by the scenic beauty that unfolds before your eyes. If you’re walking it will probably take 2.5 – 3.5hours. As you pass through the rugged mountains and stunning lakes, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. Keep an eye out for roaming sheep and local legends shared by your friendly driver. The journey culminates in Kate Kearney’s Cottage, where you can indulge in some authentic Irish treats before heading back to Killarney. If you love the Gap of Dunloe as much as I do I would recommend heading back to hike Strickeen Mountain if you’re looking for a beginner friendly mountain.
Day 4: Explore the Ring of Kerry
Buckle up, road trippers! Today, we’re going to give the legs a rest as we embark on one of Ireland’s most scenic drives – the Ring of Kerry. This 179-kilometer loop offers breathtaking vistas at every turn and it will probably take 5-8 hours. From dramatic cliffs to pristine beaches, and ancient stone forts to charming villages, this route showcases the very best of Kerry’s landscapes and heritage. Take your time, stop along the way, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Emerald Isle. Top tip – explore the Skellig Ring along the way and stop off at the Kerry Cliffs. We also recommend going counter-clockwise and leaving before 9am so you travel ahead of the buses. From Killarney head towards Killorglin, your first stop will be Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh beach, from there head towards Kells and visit Kells Gardens then onto Portmagee, the Kerry Cliffs, Ballinskelligs, Derrynane, Inch beach, Kenmare and finally back to Killarney. For lunch we recommend The Moorings or Sammy’s. If you don’t have a car plenty of bus companies do this route, Deros are our top pick.
Day 5: Unleash Your Inner Adventurer in Killarney National Park
Today is all about immersing yourself in the wonders of Killarney National Park. Rent a bike (we recommend O’Sullivan’s Cycles) and cruise along the park’s network of cycling trails. Pedal through lush woodlands, around serene lakes, and past historic estates. If you prefer to stay on foot, set off on a walking trail and keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife like red deer and Irish hares. For a more relaxed afternoon, take a boat tour on the Lakes of Killarney and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Our top recommendations are to visit Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle and Ross Island, Muckross House & Gardens, Killarney House & Gardens, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, Knockreer, the Demesne and The Blue Pool Walk.
Day 6: Discover the Wild Beauty of the Dingle Peninsula
Known for its rugged beauty, ancient ruins, and vibrant villages, the Dingle Peninsula is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Visit the picturesque town of Dingle and savor some fresh seafood while enjoying the lively atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop at Slea Head for panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the mystical Blasket Islands. It’s a day of pure magic and adventure! For those of you that love the water explore the cliffs and marine life with Dingle Sea Safari. If you are driving try to avoid Connor’s Pass as it’s very narrow.
Day 7: Farewell, Killarney!
As our 7-day escapade comes to a close, take one last leisurely stroll through the streets of Killarney. Savor the memories of the breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals, and unforgettable experiences you’ve had during your stay. Grab a coffee and stroll through knockreer and visit St.Mary’s Cathedral. Depart with a heart full of cherished memories, knowing that the allure of Killarney will always welcome you back for another incredible adventure.
A Final Word
Killarney truly offers the ultimate 7-day trip for nature enthusiasts and explorers alike. From the heights of Torc and Carrauntoohil Mountain to the winding roads of the Ring of Kerry, each day promises new and exciting experiences that will leave you yearning for more. So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and embark on the journey of a lifetime in the land of Celtic magic and untamed beauty. Sláinte!